1994: The 40 Best Records From Mainstream Alternative's Greatest Year

Green Day, Nirvana, Pearl Jam and 35 other bands who made the word "alternative" lose all meaning

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Toadies, 'Rubberneck'
40
Courtesy of Interscope Records35/40

35. Toadies, 'Rubberneck'

Emerging from the alt-rock desert of Fort Worth, Texas, the Toadies scored a gold record via some weirdo Southern gothic doom-choogle that existed somewhere between Kiss, the Blasters, ZZ Top and the Pixies. Not really punk, not really pop, not really metal, their hit, "Possum Kingdom" rode an errant bar of 2/4 years before "Hey Ya" — but with lyrics about a lake murder. "I roamed around all sort of places in Fort Worth actively trying to get murdered and it never happened," lead singer Todd Lewis told Austin Monthly with a laugh. "It was a pretty sketchy town. In that era there was always a part of town that people didn't want to go, and that's where bands would get together to drink beer and play." Due to label drama that left an entire second album stashed in the Interscope vaults, Rubberneck was the first and last commercial gasp from the band — but you can see their legacy in other place. "Everybody thinks it's hilarious that my favorite band is the Toadies," fellow Texan Kelly Clarkson told MTV. Christopher R. Weingarten

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